Customs of Onam Festival

Onam is a Traditional Festival celebrated in the state of Kerela. Native people take great enthusiasm and utilize all available opportunities to celebrate this magnificent celebration of traditions and customs.

Apart from the many customs and rituals that are performed by the families at home, several other such activities are organised at society and city levels, throughout the state.


Athachamayam marks the beginning of this vibrant festival. This is a huge processional that is celebrated with music and dance on the first day, Atham, at Thirpunithura and Piravam. The procession remembers the royal tradition in which the Maharajas of the state of Kochi travelled all the way to the Thripunithura Fort accompanied by each of their attendants. Even in the absence of the King, this ancient custom is still preserved till date.

The major events during this festival include various performances by folk artists, ornamented elephants, musical compositions and dance shows by skilful dancers.

Snake boat race

By far the most mesmerizing as well as the most popular among all these events is the Snake Boat Race, commonly referred to as VALLAMKALI, which takes place few days before the holy and auspicious festival of Onam. Alappuzha is the most important site for this event among the several other sites throughout the state.

Hundreds of boatmen participate with numerous long and decorated boates called Chundan Vallams. The rhythmic rowing of these boats on calm waters, accompanied by the symphony of the drums makes it an overall enchanting experience.

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